Usually the next 500 words or so are filled with sarcasm, humor and a (somewhat) satirical look on the many problems plaguing our world. But today, I'm stepping into my Dr. Phil shoes and looking at something a bit more serious.
Right now is a tough time in America. With the economy the way it is (and the fiscal cliff looming if politicians don't act quickly), failure is prevalent throughout households in our country. People are losing their jobs, their houses, some even their families. Bank accounts are tight, and I'm sure plenty of people are wondering if they can make it to next month without going under.
Let me let you in on a little secret. The key to being successful isn't being the best at what you do. It's not outsmarting the competition or anything like that.
The best way to be successful in all facets of life is to believe in yourself.
At the first sign of failure, people begin to get down on themselves. I'm not saying that's a bad thing. It's understandable, for a period of time.
But things will get a lot better if you tell yourself you "can" do something instead of "can't."
I'll give you an example. Say you're a husband and a father who recently was laid off, and now you're looking for another job. You've been looking and applying for a month, but nothing promising has panned out. If you let this get to you, by telling yourself that nobody wants you and you must not be good enough for the jobs that are out there, your job search in the coming months is not going to be successful. You're probably only going to apply for the jobs that are at the bottom of the barrel, because that's what you'll think you can get.
But if you at least approach it with the opposite mindset — "I will find something I will enjoy doing, I just have to keep looking" — the chances of you finding a good job are that much greater. You'll continue to apply to all kinds of jobs because you believe that you can get another good job.
Of course, there are wild-card factors that play into the scenario. There are in every scenario I could throw your way. But you should get the gist of what I'm saying.
Again, I'm not saying you should be a "rah, rah, everything's good, everything's happy all the time" person. It's OK to get down on yourself after something bad happens. You have to go through that healing process, whether it's after losing a job, breaking up with your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend, or just having a bad day at work.
But you need to know when is the right time to pick up the pieces, say, "I can do this," and start working to better your life. That time is different for everyone, and really, only you know when that time is.
Page 2 of 2 - This all sounds simple, and is something we all should know by this point in our lives, right? Well, it's really not. It's easy for us to let our emotions get the best of us and get into the dumps, and stay in the dumps. I've been there before. I'm sure you have too. Sometimes you have to work hard to pick yourself up and believe in yourself again.
But if you're willing to put in that work to at least try and get yourself going again, you're taking the first step in the right direction. And if you're taking that first step, congratulations — you're already believing in yourself.
And you'd be amazed at what taking that first step can do for your life sometimes.
OK, the Dr. Phil shoes are coming off now. If you can hear me telling you all this in a Dr. Phil voice, bonus points to you. I used to be able to do a pretty good Dr. Phil impression. I don't know if I could still do it now. It's been a while.
Alix Kunkle is the News Editor of the Leesville Daily Leader in Leesville, La. You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.